Saturday, 28 August 2021

Vs Consadole Sapporo (away) 28/8/21 J League match 27

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 1 - 2 Kawasaki Frontale

A totally dominant performance! All the best chances, loads more shots, more possession… oh, sorry, I was looking at the stats the wrong way round. Back on track with a wholly undeserved win but we’ll take it! It does feel a bit like we haven’t had luck on our side with injuries recently. But at the same time, our play has got the results we deserved so I’m not going to moan too much. Thankfully we seem to have come out of this match with no new injuries! Now if only Kashima could do us a favour this evening by absolutely smashing YFM that would be lovely. I’m not sure this was a game anyone will really want to remember particularly but we had a couple of nice goals, rode our luck at the back and took the points. After a very wobbly period where we looked to have lost all confidence, hopefully this game will help us get back on track a little. There’s still a lot to play for this season so a change of fortune is a very welcome thing right now. Would like us to play a bit better of course, but results are more important at the moment. Fingers crossed. There’s not a great deal I want to say about the game. I think I’ve covered it all already by saying we were lucky. So let’s keep this brief.

Our starting line up might have looked a bit weird but to be honest, I don’t think we have that many options at the moment. On the injured list we have Oshima, Taniguchi, Tsukagawa, Hatate. Mitoma and Tanaka have obviously gone and we have only one reinforcement who is maybe now in quarantine so probably won’t be ready for a while. So it was a case of play the players we have where they can. The subs perhaps confused things a little and maybe we ended up playing 4-4-2, but Ienaga moving everywhere makes formations a little difficult to work out sometimes. Kobayashi’s goal was lovely, squeezing the ball in where it looked like there was no space at all. As a follow up he assisted for Tono’s goal and then as a follow up to that he beautifully turned, losing the defender and then skied his shot. But I’m delighted he scored as we need goals at the moment. We had an amazing amount of let offs at the other end of the pitch. Although we nominally had defenders on the pitch, it seemed that we were playing with a strict ‘no defending’ tactical approach. If Sapporo had taken their chances we could have lost this game heavily and then been in second place in the league by bedtime. Only nine shots in the whole game with only three on target tells the (recent same old) story. But three points is the most important thing. And I guess I should give Oniki credit for apparently lifting our spirits sufficiently to not have us completely collapse in this game. He hasn’t got much to work with right now, and we still won. And obviously slightly dubious 2-0 away wins (this game, Oita, Shimizu in the league maybe), are eminently preferable to losing 1-0 even if we don't play very well in either scenario. So that’ll probably do for this post apart from a couple of brief Consadole things. Arano was Arano again and after telling Kengo to die in a previous game seems to have now turned his attention to Kobayashi, who he was having some ‘verbals’ with. Dunno what he said but it doesn’t seem very like Kobayashi to get upset about these kind of things. Bizarrely Arano still seems to be big chums with Damiao though. And the Consadole keeper Sugeno’s hair entertained me a lot in this game. He’s gone for the platinum dye job, but from a distance he really could pass for a white haired man in his mid 60’s. Probably not an original observation, but I like it!

Next up, a couple of games against Urawa in the Levain Cup. And then the ACL game away in Ulsan. So, by the time we play in the league again we will have more of an idea how this season and our form is going. By that stage YFM will have played a game more than us. Wouldn’t it be lovely if the gap was still four points? Might be a bit too much to ask, but until we resume in the league I’ll be fully behind Kashima and Sanfrecce. Well, fully behind them in the most negative anti-YFM way possible. Not sure either of those teams particularly want to do us a favour, but at least Kashima will want to keep up their challenge for the ACL. Right now though, I’ll post this and enjoy the thought that maybe they’ll help us out today. Go Frontale!

GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro
MF 28. YAMAMURA Kazuya
FW 19. TONO Daiya

GK 27. TANNO Kenta 
MF 6. JOAO SCHMIDT (on for MIYAGI 61')
DF 15. ISSAKA Zain
MF 17. KOZUKA Kazuki (on for YAMAMURA 84')
FW 20. CHINEN Kei (on for TONO 71')
FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro (on for WAKIZAKA 71')

KOBAYASHI (Frontale) 34' 0-1
TONO (Frontale) 39' 0-2

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